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What to Know: Election Day 2018

by Amy Beck

 Someone struggled for your right to vote.  Use it. – Susan B. Anthony

Tomorrow is Election Day in the U.S.A., and Fiedler Law Firm wants to make sure that you are heard at the polls.  Because voting can be tricky, we have outlined some frequently asked questions below to make voting a little easier for you.

Voter Registration.  I forgot to register. Can I still vote?

Yes.  Iowa allows same-day voter registration.  You will need to prove who you are and where you live at your polling place.  The best way to do this is with a valid Iowa driver’s license with your current address printed on it.

If you don’t have an Iowa driver’s license, you may use a photo ID that is current, valid, and contains an expiration date.  Polling places will accept the following types of IDs:

  • Iowa non-driver ID card;
  • Out-of-state driver’s license or non-driver ID card;
  • S. passport;
  • S. military ID;
  • ID card issued by an employer;
  • Student ID issued by an Iowa high school or college; or
  • Tribal ID.

If your photo ID does not contain your current address, you may use another document to prove where you live if it contains your name and current address.  You can use the following documents to show proof of residence:

  • Residential lease;
  • Utility bill (including cell phone bill);
  • Bank statement;
  • Paycheck; or
  • Government check or other government document.

If you can’t prove who you are and where you live with the documents listed above, you can still register by having a registered voter from your precinct attest for you.  Both you and the attester will be required to sign an oath swearing the statements being made are true.

Polling Place:  I’m registered, but I don’t know where to vote.  What do I do?

You can find your polling place online here.

Voter ID:  Will I have to show my ID to vote?

At your polling place, you will be asked to show your ID before voting (all the ID examples listed above are sufficient).  If you don’t have an ID, don’t give up.  You will still be able to vote if you sign an oath verifying your identity.

When to Vote: What time can I vote?

The polls will be open tomorrow, November 6, 2018, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. statewide.

Voting and Working: Am I allowed to take paid time off work to vote?

Maybe.  Iowa law allows workers who do not have three consecutive hours off from work while the polls are open to take three paid hours off to vote.  For example, if you work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., you’re not entitled to time off because the polls are open till 9 p.m. and you have more than three consecutive hours off work to vote.  However, if you’re scheduled from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., you are entitled to time off.  If this applies to you, you must request this time off before Election Day, so do it today!

Voting and Kids.  Am I allowed to bring my children with me to vote?

Yes.  You can bring your child with you into the voting booth.  This is also a great opportunity to teach your children about democracy and civic engagement.

Voting Accommodations.  If I need assistance while voting due to a physical disability or inability to read English, can someone assist me?

Yes.  If you need help marking your ballot due to a disability or if you struggle reading English, you may choose any person to help you except your employer, your employer’s agent, or an officer/agent of your union. If you would like help from the precinct election officials on Election Day, two officials (one from each political party) will assist you. You will be asked to sign a form showing you asked for help. If you are not physically able to sign the forms, you can use a rubber stamp or mark to sign. You may also ask for assistance or have someone sign the form on your behalf if it is in your presence and with your permission.

If you are unable to enter the building where the polling place is located because of a disability, curbside voting is available at each precinct. Two precinct election officials, one from each political party, will take voting materials out to you in your vehicle. You can then mark your ballot in your vehicle. If you need to utilize curbside voting, it is a good idea to call the county auditor’s office before you go to the polling place so the county auditor can call ahead and let the precinct election officials know you will be needing assistance voting from your vehicle.

If you are wanting to learn more about the voting process, check out Vote Save America to create a voting plan and learn more about the people on your ballot.

Somewhere inside all of us is the power to change the world – Roald Dahl

Amy Beck is one of our Iowa attorneys, specializing in employment litigation and civil rights.

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